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Global Gypsy Charity Poject

Global Gypsy Charity Project or Cluster Cafe

This is a huge vision and I can not pull this off by myself

The Vision:  To establish a network of travellers cafes throughout the world as a franchise concept operating on a not for profit basis to act as an interface between those with skills with those that want to learn something new to improve their futures. Each cafe will be run by volunteers which will be training those less fortunate like orphans and the children of sex workers. These people have a bleak future unless they can be upskilled. It is hoped that some of the positions will be paid to establish the cafe and those that cannot donate the time can maybe donate towards its implementation like leasing premises or land for growing organic food for the cafe. Grants could be provided to enlist a permaculture manager to train and oversee the farm in 6 month blocks. I see a cafe which operates on a pay it forward system where you are encouraged to pay what something is worth and by what you can afford. This system has been tried before in India and in California with great success. There will be photographs of those wanting to learn a skill and a profile on notice boards in the cafe so travellers can identify directly with them. I am not forseeing people fixing peoples homes although that is an option but directly relating and teaching practical skills. It is hoped to have a classroom upstairs and paid translators available and If you can teach one person then we could advertise in the community to see who else wants to learn this topic because if you can teach one person you can teach ten. The cafe could also use the classroom for documentary and film screenings and live music events for travelling musicians. Lonely Planet would most likely get behind the project and promote this in their Volunteer travel guide.

A website could be established or another name where we could create a global site where those with knowledge can exchange to those that want to receive on a world wided scale.

We trialled skillsharing in Karamea in NZ where those in the local community chose a day in the month of January to offer skills to the community all for free. One day was flax weaving, another a tour of a permaculture farm, composting toilets, free hydro electric power plants, chainsaw use and maintenance. It was hugely succesful and a lot of knowledge was shared and everyone benefited, both givers and receivers. 

I personally have taught thousands of people how to juggle and how to play didjeridoo. these are two skills that with practice can provide an income.  These skills can be taught without language. Every time you walk past a fabric shop in India they love to throw a length of sari fabric on their platform, I usually ignore the fabric and go straight for the cardboard tube and teach all the chai wallahs in the street how to play. 


Tourists are more likely to throw money at someone having a go rather than begging. I have supported myself in many places busking and used to make $100 in ten minutes juggling fire and not suprisingly the more fun I have the more they give.




I went to offer my services to Mother Teresa in Calcutta however

hit a brick wall with the administration. I had offered life time royalties from any photographs I might take of her doing her daily business, not taking her time or posing for photographs. The response from them was just asking for money now or leave it to them in my will of which I didn’t have, however my skills could provide them with many thousands of dollars over time. I was dissillusioned with this process and honored their rules of no photographs however I did get to hang out with Mother Teresa who just wanted me to pray. In hindsight I wish I hadn’t of followed their rules as I had my small pentax in my pocket & the image  I wish I had taken was of her feet. Mother Teresa was born with deformed toes where they all splayed out at a 45 degree angle and to me it was more my style of image, but it didn’t happen and she died not long afterwards. Because she couldn’t wear shoes she had leather sandals so in affect she was earthing as electrons from the earth will move through thin leather like you’re barefoot whereas electrons don’t move through cork, rubber or plastic.

I later went on to work at Dr Jacque’s clinic in Calcutta until the monsoon rain flooded the marquee we were operating in with water up past our knees. It was from these expeiences I thought there must be a better was of harnassing the energy of travellers.

I have a vision of this concept being expanded throughout the world like Pokhara and Thamel, Nepal, Hoi An in Vietnam, Angkor Wat in Cambodia and in Dharamsala home of the Tibetan community etc. India alone has five million tourists a year and many more mature travellers are looking for ways to make a difference. I am excited by the amount of younger woofers that have stayed with me and at Rongo’s and the Living in Peace project in Karamea and have been inspired to want to learn, share and help. There is no better high than others This doesn’t just have to be restricted to third world countries as help and sharing is needed everywhere.

  Another way the cafe project could generate funds and workers would be to produce an organic fruit and nut bar maybe called the Shakti Bar which is the feminine word for ability and strength. This would be an entirely organic collection of nuts, seeds, grains, coconut and goodies with maybe some mandarin and honey which we could sell through the cafe but more importantly it could be sold across India especially at railway stations and there is a full time job handling its distribution. When you’re in India you will be sick at some point and when you’re travelling there is nothing worse than spicy food and all you want is something safe, nourishing and wholesome. Personally if I could buy a chunky organic nut bar that would sustain me for twenty four hours I would probably buy a few even if they were considered expensive by indian standards. I would expect to pay $5 in australia for such a bar.  The Indian railway network moves 8 million people a day and they’re not all poor as doctors, lawyers and academics also use them including all the Indians who have lived or studied abroad who might also indulge. It is my belief to give everyone a chance. I believe we could give the needy a chance to make a living by selling these Shakti bars to the public. They would receive a tray of shakti bars, a cap and one of my yogi t-shirts and they have a job. I believe if people are given the opportunity to have continued employment they willl honor that. It would involve someone to oversee each centre which employs someone else part time.  As the intention is to help and sustain employment while nourishing people it is a bonus if this generates a profit. If the kids or adults were only given 10 bars if theye were mugged or something else happened they could lose their privelage and they would go to their handler for payment and restocking. Each bar would have certificate or sticker advetising the cafe project because travellers could visit the cafe as a destination or website. I feel this project could generate 1000 opportunities of employment for the needy. While helping people is the aim of this not for profit enterprise we would be eligible for grants and funding.

If your dreams don’t scare you they aren’t big enough